Frank Lloyd Wright Archives Go to MoMA and Columbia


A trove of materials relating to American architect Frank Lloyd Wright are on their way to New York City.

In an unusual joint acquisition, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives will be divided between the Museum of Modern Art and Columbia University. Until now, the archives have remained at the foundation’s facilities: Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wis., and Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Some 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large presentation models, manuscripts, correspondence and other documents are included.

MoMA will house all three-dimensional works, such as the models, architectural elements and design prototypes. The museum will display the objects regularly as well as developing special exhibitions based on the new acquisitions.

All paper materials will go to Columbia’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, along with interview tapes and films. There, they will be integrated into the university’s curriculum.

The great scope of the gift, and the expense of maintaining it, is indicated by MoMA director Glenn Lowry’s initial reaction, as he described it to the New York Times: “This came across my desk and I let it sit there for day or two, thinking, ‘Do I want to take on this headache?'” Mr. Lowry said. “Then I realized: ‘This is crazy not to do this. This is one of those opportunities that come along once in a lifetime.'”